The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on glycaemic control and use of health services among children followed at a Danish diabetes clinic

Poul Erik Kofoed*, Signe Timm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Aim: During COVID-19 restrictions, the paediatric clinic only accepted essential outpatient visits, schools closed, sports activities and social life were limited. Most employees worked at home. This quasi-experiment evaluates how this affected glycaemic control and use of health services among children with diabetes. Methods: Paired t-tests were used to compare HbA1c-values before, during and after lockdown. Sub-analyses were stratified by pre-lockdown HbA1c-values. Results: Overall mean HbA1c decreased from 58.3 to 56.9 mmol/mol (p = 0.025) from pre- to post-lockdown, a decrease also seen during the same season the previous year. HbA1c decreased by −4.2 mmol/mol (p = 0.002) for patients with pre-lockdown HbA1c > 59 mmol/mol, but increased slightly by 0.8 mmol/mol (p = 0.176) for patients with HbA1c < 52 mmol/mol. HbA1c measured 8 months post-lockdown increased again, most pronounced for patients with lowest HbA1c. During lockdown, virtual contacts increased from 0.1 to 0.5 contacts/patient/month and stayed post-lockdown at 0.3 contacts/patient/month. Conclusion: Compared to 2019, overall the COVID-19 restrictions did not influence the glycaemic control negatively. However, patients with pre-lockdown HbA1c < 52 mmol/mol experienced a deterioration, whereas those with HbA1c > 59 mmol/mol experienced an improvement. Less stress and more contact with parents may contribute to the last-mentioned finding. The lockdown enforced more virtual contacts between patients and the clinic.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
ISSN0803-5253
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29. Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • diabetes type 1
  • HbA1c
  • metabolic control
  • virtual contacts

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